F_alk, you are obviously anti-religious,
anti-church fits better
and hence you stopped looking at the history of imperialism and “manifest destinies” around the time of the beginnings of the catholic church. The Romans prior to that had much greater imperialistic tendencies with NO missionaric spirit. As did the Greeks before them, as well as the Persians, Assyrians, the Egyptions, the Chinese and Mongols, the Aztecs the Iroquois blah blah blah. To blame current American war-mongering on religious zeal when Christ was extremely clear in his admonishing us to love our enemies is i believe a mistake.
Yes, the Romans were imperialistic, but they showed a lot of “respect” to the conquered people, for example in fitting in their panteon into the roman one and not “killing” their gods. The Greek imperialism was rather small scale, with the expansion either limited to close-by areas as the turkish coast, or when far away building trade-cities.
But you are right, there was no missionaric spirit by those cultures.
That’s why i mentioned it as one of the main differences between western “imperialism” (not to be confused with the late 19th century phenomenon). And i don’t only blame the american war-mongering on that, but more or less all european-rooted imperialism (see the older post with the examples).
Sure, Christ said you shouldn’t do that that way, but still the merging of christianity and roman culture lead IMHO to this “new” class of colonialism.
The fact is, it takes little effort for someone to yell “look over there. They might attack us. The best way to deal with this is to attack us first”. Similarly human nature decrees that since this guy yelled, he must be right, and it is imperitive to jump into a fight. May this man be motivated by religious issues? Possibly. As well as economic, political and other selfish ones. Because of a desire to make the world outside of his tiny realm a better place . . . ?
The different motives are probably all true, but most often in “western” history, this motives where “morally legalized” by taking the cross:
Have a look at how each army in the first world war was blessed by their priests. “God with us” was a common phrase for any combatant there.
I don’t blame christianity, i blame the church for becoming too word-ly, therefore having interest in defending its power and property, for getting too involved into political games of power, for getting corrupted.
Today, the situation of the church is different. It lost most of its power. Though it’s still influential in spiritual questions, and that’s where it belongs IMHO.